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The hawk's hawk gives McCain two talons up.

Remember John McCain tacitly receiving the endorsement of George W. Bush on the White House lawn several weeks back? Good gravy that was awkward. It looked like this:

As McCain works tirelessly to win over skeptical and often hostile conservatives, discomfiting alliances are starting to look like the norm. Lately, John Bolton (the patently hawkish and admirably mustached former U.N. ambassador) is shouting McCain's hard line foreign policy credentials from the mountaintop (I'm picturing one of those mountains with the apocalypse bunkers built into it).

Here's what Bolton had to say in a commentary piece by Bloomberg's Albert R. Hunt:

On Iran, McCain "takes a harder line than the Bush administration,'' Bolton says approvingly and expresses confidence that as president he would take a tougher stand against North Korea than what he considers the erratic Bush posture.

On Russia, Bolton -- the hardest of hardliners when he was in the Bush administration -- says McCain "takes an even harder line than I do. He wants to toss them out of the G-8. He is not about to be pushed around by an assertive Putin.''

Some of the so-called Republican foreign policy "realists,'' who reigned during the administration of the president's father, hope this is mostly campaign rhetoric; as president, they argue McCain would revert to a more multilateralist, less-confrontational approach.

Bolton says they're daydreaming. He has no problems with McCain's praise for Henry Kissinger, the quintessential Republican foreign policy figure: "Kissinger is a plus now.''

Kissinger. Yikes. Whoever is driving that Straight Talk bus ought to get a newer map.

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